My first visit with the gastroenterologist

illustration of human bowels

This is an old blog post (2015) and I have since had two bowel resections (2018 and 2020). I’ve also learned alllllll about Endometriosis on the bowels.

So, you may know that I have been having poopy issues.  Severe pain when going Number Two, cramping, constipation, diarrhea, etc.  

Anyway, two months after my initial consult with my PCP I finally saw the gastroenterologist today (the appointment process took that long…).  Went in not knowing what to expect…

But we just sat and talked for about 30 minutes.  We discussed my medical history, my Endometriosis, my diet change, supplements, my poopy symptoms, etc.  He is very familiar with Endometriosis.  We threw around Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Crohn’s Disease, and Ulcerative Colitis.  We talked about each, compared them to my symptoms, and even discussed what I do now to keep my symptoms “under control,”  as well as what the medical community could offer me for symptom control (which was prescription-strength identical to what I do now : laxatives, anti-diarrhea medication, cramping medication).

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Silent Endometriosis

Woman holding her index finger to her lips to shhh someone

There are many usual signs and symptoms of Endometriosis.  If you suffer from this disease, you know them all too well. One of our readers, Tanya, let us know that she suffers from “Silent Endometriosis.”  What’s that?  She has an official Endometriosis diagnosis, but only some of the symptoms associated with Endometriosis.  Some people with Silent Endo don’t have any Endo symptoms (this is known as asymptomatic Endometriosis). Does that make her any less of an Endo sufferer? No, not at all.  She suffers from the same invasive disease as the rest of us.  Just in a different way.

A whole slew of questions were raised, which we’ll look into:

  1. Why do some people present with classic symptoms like crippling pain and some don’t?
  2. And, given that silent endometriosis exists, this makes me wonder if the overall incidents of endometriosis is higher than is usually quoted. How many have this disease and have no idea?
  3. Since the symptoms don’t present as normal in silent endometriosis, what are some of the other signs that people possibly facing this condition can look out for?
  4. Why do some patients who are riddled with endometriosis have no pain, and others with very little endometriosis have excruciating pain?
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Frozen Embryo Transfers & Endometriosis

Frozen embryo transfer medical tubes

A lot of people have trouble becoming pregnant, whether or not they have Endometriosis.  The question has been raised : if you have Endometriosis and are undergoing frozen embryo transfer (FET), which treatment regimens and protocols have the highest successful pregnancy rate?

I myself have never considered IVF and had to do a bit of initial research on the differences between fresh and frozen embryos, IVF, etc.  I am so grateful an EndoWarrior asked this question; brought this struggle to my attention.  So if you already know about these, please bear with me as I learn.  Otherwise, skip passed these first few categories to the knitty gritty below 🙂

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Feel Good Fridays

We made it through another week.  Yes, YOU made it through another week.

Today’s quote is from Dr. Jamie Weisman.  A simple, uplifting quote, especially if you have (or someone you know has) a chronic illness:

“Most people live in fear of some terrible event changing their lives, the death of a loved one or a serious illness. For the chronically ill, this terrible event has already happened, and we have been let in on an amazing secret: You survive. You adapt, and your life changes, but in the end you go on, with whatever compromises you have been forced to make, whatever losses you have been forced to endure. You learn to balance your fears with the simple truth that you must go on living.”

These same words are true for everyone, whether they have a chronic illness or not.  This “amazing secret” can be applied to any circumstance in life that you may be going through.  Pull through.  Speak with friends.  Ask for help.  You will endure.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Yours, Lisa

This Sunday, Nov 15, in British Columbia

Jenni Rempel will be hosting an event to shed some light on invisible illnesses, including her own – Endometriosis.  Funds raised from this event will help pay for her excision surgery.

Are you near the Maple-Ridge area? Know someone who is? Want to go?

“Shining the Spotlight: A Benefit to Illuminate Invisible Illness” will take place at Theatre in the Country (9975 272th St.) this Sunday, Nov. 15 starting at 2 p.m.  This will be an afternoon of entertainment/performances with a silent auction and bake sale. View the Facebook event for more info: https://www.facebook.com/events/684114358355419/

More information can be found here: http://www.mrtimes.com/community/344836422.html 

The Endometriosis Foundation of America’s Donor Spotlight

Endometriosis Foundation of America logo

Today I had the honor of being featured in the Endometriosis Foundation of America’s Donor Spotlight!  I have enjoyed our interactions and communications with the EFA so much over this past year.  And being able to raise funds for their efforts.  They’re a huge organization, yet speak to us “little people” with such support and respect it’s incredible.  And now this?  I’m overwhelmed!

We will continue to do great things together.  All of us.

Yours,

Lisa

Happy Blogiversary!

cupcake with a lit candle and the text happy one year blogiversary

One year ago today, I started this little blog.  Just wanted to get my thoughts and feelings out, have a place to post my research and share fundraisers, and am amazed at what it’s blossomed into!

Thank you, Readers, for helping me make this site into a Home.  A place where people can come for help.  For support.  For each other.  And thank you for your Reader’s Choice topics.  Together, we continue to learn more about this disease and understand that we do not face this alone.

If there is every anything you’d like me to write about, please contact me or drop a comment below.  I am here for you.  Just as you are here for me.

Thank you for an incredible year!

Love, Lisa

Truth, Theory, or Tall Tale?

hazard symbol of skull and crossbones on orange background

Environmental toxins may play a role in the development and progression of Endometriosis?

Truth

Do I sound like a dirty hippy?  Maybe.  But there are a lot of theories out there about what may cause or influence Endometriosis.  But scientific studies have been long-published, and are also newly-emerging, that support the evidence that environmental toxins play a role in Endo’s development and progression.

A study published in the 2015 book “Endometriosis A Comprehensive Update” discusses just those factors.  The abstract states, “[h]uman exposure to toxins is often unavoidable, but measures including a detailed history taken by clinicians and lifestyle changes can help detect and limit exposure and assist in the body’s detoxification processes. Growing evidence suggests a possible link between endometriosis and environmental pollutants.”

So I may sound like a dirty hippy, which is okay by me, but the chemicals and toxins that we expose our bodies to may very well play a role in the progression of this disease.  You may want to do a little bit more digging on this subject.